tv Sexual Assault on College Campuses CSPAN October 23, 2014 11:45pm-12:52am EDT
hypotheticals, because we want to ensure that we are able to conduct investigations of complaints and cases with the kind of independence that we need in order to be able to ensure respect in the court system. but i am delighted to be here today to talk generally about this problem and to answer whatever questions i can. i don't think i need to tell any of you that sexual violence is a form of discrimination. it refers to physical acts that are perpetrated against a person's will, or where a person is incapable of consent, can include rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual abuse and sensual coercion. i use the term sexual assault to refer to all of those. they are obviously a safety issue. but importantly, for the department of justice and the department of education, they are also a civil rights issue, and we have tools that we are committed to using to the utmost extent in order to ensure that people's civil rights are
protected on the nation's campuses. we enforce a variety of statutes that have relevance to the issue of sexual assaults. one, of course, is title ix of the education amendments of 1972, which we enforce in conjunction with the department of education and other agencies that fund institutions of higher education. we also enforce title iv of the civil rights act of 1964, which bans, moamong other thing, sex discrimination in public schools and schools of higher education. in addition we address the violent control act and the state streets act. and those statutes allow us to take a holistic approach, because it gives us jurisdiction over sex discrimination by law enforcement agencies. and as senator tester knows, we worked very cooperatively with
both the university of montana at missoula, and the missoula police department to enter into agreements to address the handling of sexual assault complaints by students and members of the missoula community using all of these statutes. and i think our hope is that those agreements will be a model for other universities around the country to be able to adopt the kind of proactive steps that are necessary to really address these problems. so just a word on what those proactive steps are and the provisions of our agreements with the university and the law enforcement entities in montana, one thing is a requirement that universities have clear and accessible policies that comply with the law. it is critical that students know their rights and that students, faculty, staff and everyone on campus know their
responsibilities when it comes to dealing with sexual assault, without inclusive policies, too often, schools treat victims of, for example, same sex sexual assault or dating violence the same. saying that it is only perpetrated by men against women or stranger rape. it is neither of those things, and schools need to have the kinds of culturally inclusive policies that enable them to deal with each case on campus. they need to broadly disseminate these. the best-written policies in the world are not worth very much if students don't know where to go when they have a concern. that's something that the university of montana has now done very well. when we did our investigation, we discovered that they had eight different policies that referred to sexual assaults and sexual hashesment in various capacities. and it just wasn't clear where
students were supposed to do or what the processes the university was supposed to follow were. pursuant to the agreement, they have now created a policy that provides for a uniform and clearly disseminated way to address sexual assault. training is also critical. for school officials, for students, for any one involved in the investigative or disciplinary process. people really need to know how to understand, how to investigate a complaint of sexual assault, how to treat victims with sensitivity and respect, and what kinds of remedies they need to institute when they find that sexual assaults have in fact occurred. in montana, our agreement calls for training campus law enforcement on investigative techniques. our office of violence against women and deputy director allison randle is with me today.
it includes training on various ways to address sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking and other forms of sexual misconduct. ensuring a response to complaints is an effective way to deal with sexual assault. we look at how campus law enforcement and campus officials deal with sexual assault, how they treat the victims and the perpetrators as well. again, at the office of the violence of women, the act low vieds for pro dwams that provide for training for sexual assault response teams, for sexual assault nurse examiners. for investigation on trauma and the special investigative techniques they need to take for
people with these horrible forms of assault. i'm happy to talk more about those programs. finally, if they find sexual assault, universities need to take effective corrective action. that means stopping the assault, preventing it from happening again and remedying the impact of that assault, whether it's on the individual victim or the campus as a whole. individual relief can include enabling students to change their course schedule, re-take classes without penalty. additional time to prepare for exams. expunging grades that were reduced by the trauma that they were suffering. institutional and campus-wide responses can include improving training, changing policies, increasing monitoring of spots on campus where sexual assault has occurred. ensuring that everyone on campus knows their rights and their responsibilities with regard to addressing sexual assault. just two other things that i
wanted to mention that we do. one is that in addition to working directly with universities, we file amicus briefs in federal court to address the legal standards that apply to sexual assaults, and i think those have been effective in shaping the way in which the law has been applied. we also work very closely, as you know, with the office of civil rights, the department of education, both on investigations and enforcement action and on development of policy guidance and anticipate that we will continue to do so. in closing, i just want to again thank you so much for the opportunity to appear. thank you for your commitment to this issue. i really look forward to today's discussion. i know that together we can really come up with effective solutions to this ongoing problem. >> thank you, ms. samuels. we really appreciate you being here. senator blumenthal has joined us, he has already had a series of round tables in his state,
similar to what we're doing but on different connecticut campuses. and he and i are working closely on developing legislation going forward. would you like to make a few comments, senator blumenthal? >> just to thank you, senator mccaskill for your leadership on this issue and for convening the sear cease of round tables that we're having and thank you to every one of you for being here today. i have a number of questions. i'm going to wait until we finish with some more of the statements. but thank you for all your great work on this issue, and coming together in this way. i think we have the tremendous opportunity, huge potential to really achieve some lasting and vitally needed progress in this area. so thank you for all your great work. and thank you again. >> thank you, senator. why don't we go around the table and start with katie and go clockwise. if you would identify yourself and where you're from and take a
moment to explain your involvement in this issue and what capacity you are you sir of. >> my name is katie the eckly. i am from the university of minnesota. our sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking program on our campus. i have seven years of being a judicial officer and investigator for the university and so i have that unique perspective of being a student comment officer, writing policy and investigating cases, and now more of an advocacy role. and so working with our campuses, with both policies and prevention efforts. >> to be clear, katie, when you were an investigator, were you investigating title ix complaints? >> i was not necessarily investigating title ix complaints. >> good afternoon. i'm deborah noble-triplett, and i'm here today leading the task force from our president, tim
wolf who is very passionate about this topic and would like to ensure not only that our four campuses in our system, our campuses that are safe and have the appropriate communication of policies, the appropriate prevention programs, and the appropriate training, but also that we have a culture of respect. and driving the task force that was formed in february for our university is an effort to evaluate all of our policies, all of our practices and all of our investigatory practices as it relates to mental health issues, which we know can be onset from the trauma of a sexual assault but also to look at what we do for not only victims but those who are alleged perpetrators to ensure due process. so we've been extensive in our efforts and are looking to become exemplar of the best
practice in the months and days to come. >> hi, thank you for having me. i'm ann from the american association of the university of women. aew is a national organization with over 170,000 members and supporters. 1,000 brarnss and 800 college and university partners across the country. in addition to the advocacy work we do on issues including title ix, campus safety, we also support women who are pursuing higher education by giving out around $4 million in scholarships every year, training and working with student leaders on college campuses and conducting research on topics like harassment and violence on campus. >> thank you. >> i'm kathryn samuels. i waonder if i could introduce y
colleagues, dan goldberg, allison randall and becky monroe in the civil rights division. thank you. >> i first want to say thank you so much for having me here and for your leadership on the issue. it means so much to survivors to see you taking this on. my name is dana bolger. i'm a very recent graduate and a former co-director of a grass-roots, student led group. >> hi, there. my name's john kelly, i'm a rising senior at tufts university and a special projects organizer alongside dana. i recently finished up a stipt on the rule making committee through the department of education with cat here. and i'm a trained rape crisis counselor for the state of massachusetts.
>> hi, my name is cat riley. i am title ix coordinator for the university of texas branch in galveston island. i have worked at five different institutions. a new career was really born april of 2011. and that's the title ix coordinator, and i became that. we have training, victim advocatesy, all of those issues in each of the schools that i've been at. so i try to be very inclusive in that process. >> i'm lindy aldrich. i bring a unique perspective to this. we are a legal aid provider. we serve over 400 victims of rape and sexual assault a year,
and we specialize only in rape and sexual assault. the population is so young for this crime. education became a massive part of our practice. i am ate mana i'm the managing attorney as well, so i hear nearly every case that comes through the doors. we work with victims in disciplinary hearings. we file title ix ucr complaints. for the last four or five years we've been going out and working with campuses. we work very closely with the office of violence against women. we teach with the mississippi coalition against violence assault and work with campus dpran tees. and i do consultations with schools all across the country. i bring a varied experience. >> great, well, i've got far more questions than we have time. but i also want everyone to feel
i have comfortable jumping in. this is a discussion. this is not a formal hearing. so please contribute when you've got something to say. the worst thing that could happen is for us to finish a couple hours of this and you walk out of this room saying, boy, they need to know this. we are here to listen and learn.